Technology is constantly influencing the way that businesses run in 2015. In a recent report, Deloitte has predicted that the following eight technology trends are set to change the way businesses will engage with their customers, how work gets done and how markets and industries will change over the next 18-24 months. A fusion between business and IT is most essential to evolve in the ever increasing digital spaces we inhabit.
So let's deconstruct the Tech trends of 2015....
1) Dimensional Marketing
In the past, marketing has simply been a push of content – messages and images blasted out from a company towards the en masse general public in the hope of attracting attention to people who could be potential customers. The digital world is completely changing the way that marketing now works as it can be targeted, tailored and personalised towards the exact demographic that the product is aimed at as the internet contains data of who/where these people are. Facebook ads and Google Adwords are big players for funnelling the products and services of the internet to potential customers. But it is also worth remembering that marketing is so much more of a two-way process now with the consumer themselves able to help the spread of a brand through sharing, viral videos and reviewing products which are, in turn, so easily accessible for more people to view. The world of marketing is changing and companies must gain mastery of the new dimensions that are available.
2) Chief Integration Officers (CIOs)
As IT becomes more and more prevalent on the business agenda and digital questions are frequently key topics in the boardroom, the role of the CIO is becoming increasingly crucial. Disruptive technologies need to be harnessed for their maximum effect and strategies need to be developed to deal with the operational realities of today with the demands of the future that digital may bring. CIOs must lead this change and act as the driving force for all IT initiatives that will be sure to intersect many departments. It must be the CIO to do this as the position is suited for people with both the technological know-how of what is feasible, with the creativity to come up with new innovations that could transform a business. If CIOs are not integrated correctly within the upper echelons of the management team in this new technologically focused era, businesses are set to fail.
3) IT workers for the future
As the influence of digital technologies has risen so quickly over the last 10 years, there is a significant talent gap within businesses who need to hire IT workers with the skills to deal with the latest emerging disruptive technologies. There needs to be a new breed of technologically savvy people who understand the wider implications of IT within business as digital discussions are raised higher within companies than ever before. Gone are the days where a token website might attract some attention – now without an internet presence you are actively losing thousands of potential customers and a whole sphere of marketing. So although computer systems analysts, app developers, systems developers, computer user support specialists and information security analysts are vital within any business these days, as more young people who have grown up with newer technologies come into the workforce, they may not need to have studied IT to have potential skills that can be harnessed for this sector. Companies need to attract and develop talent through graduate schemes in the IT sector that could interest arts students who may have new visions to re-imagine what is possible within digital.
4) Amplified Intelligence
Digital technologies also offer the ability to gather advanaced analytics not only about the stats on your companies performance in the internet world but also to collect data about your users and customers. With more data, predictive modelling can become more accurate and give business strategists a clearer idea of how to move forward. The aim is not to replace analyst workers within a business but rather enhance their capabilities and decision making by offering more detailed information about business impact. Amplified intelligence therefore helps discussions to move away from the theoretical 'what?' to the solution focused 'now what?' - and the right people need to be involved in guiding the tech to reach these goals.
5) Ambient computing
The inter-connectivity of multiple objects is becoming known as the Internet of Things (IoT) and as this technology is developed over the coming years, systems will become more aware of their surroundings. With built-in sensors and internet capabilities, objects and devices will be able to be controlled remotely, building more direct integration between the computer and physical world and bringing a digital 'light' to areas previously considered 'dark' to technological innovation. Businesses will be using ambient computing within their integration techniques for data, security and analytics as well as potentially expanding their reach to offer services which the Internet of Things will be able to use to engage with consumers. Leaders should start to think of business problems to explore where ambient computing could provide new answers.
6) Application Programming Interfaces (APIs)
APIs are the way in which different applications 'talk' to each other and borrow information. In the sense of web and marketing, APIs are what makes it possible for big services like Google Maps or Facebook to let other apps "piggyback" on their offerings. But APIs are important for all businesses to extend their reach within the digital sphere and open new revenue streams. By allowing some of your digital programming to be limitedly 'exposed' to the outside world, a whole host of applications can then be allowed to share data and take actions on your behalf. As interfaces are the most complex parts to integrate between different applications, APIs are becoming a new form of 'currency' to enable and accelerate revenue. So by making the development of coherent and robust APIs an integral part of business strategy, the technological footprint which a business is aiming to create will be thoroughly embedded within all the scopes of the internet it aims to reach.
As discussions about digital have started to branch increasingly into apps, clouds and IoT, it is easy to forget that the actual infrastructure and operations software is so important as the basis for all of these things to work. Continued software improvements will increase efficiency, productivity, speed and storage. Instead of constant 'plumbing' needed on software, re-inventing your systems to SDDCs (Software Defined Data Centres) can make your digital impact a competitive differentiator...and reduce future costs by up to 20%.
8) Upgrading core systems
The heart of your IT system has to be revitalised to keep up with all these changes. Building up your core will enable the expansion of the business into the further services and growth options that are becoming available. For the demands of your future business digital strategies, a re-energised core will elevate your IT systems to the top and allow organisations to innovate and expand.